Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trout Lake, MI Area Civilian Concervation Corps

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  1. Trout Lake CCC Camp

The Trout Lake, MI area was home to a number of camps during the era of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Between 1933 and 1942 the Civilian Conservation Corps, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, undertook an extensive program of tree planting, road building, campground construction and wildlife habitat improvement.

Several of these camps were situated in the St. Ignace area. A Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial and display has been constructed in the clearing formerly occupied by the Round Lake CCC Camp. It is west of St. Ignace just north of US-2 on Brevort Lake Road at the trailhead of the sand dunes cross-country ski trails. A number of CCC-related locations are included in a related CCC Driving Tour created by the Hiawatha National Forest.

(The Michigan Historical Center has established a CCC Museum in North Higgins Lake State Park south of Grayling.)
CCC Museum N. Higgins Lake State Park

Some of the camps were only occupied for a couple years until work in the area was completed, projects that mainly involved forestry and construction, such as pine plantations, roads, fire breaks, and campgrounds.

At the Brevort Lake Campground, the CCCs constructed the access road, original bath house and log shelters, tables, wells, and toilets. At Soldier Lake Campground east of Strongs on M-28 members of Strongs CCC Camp constructed a log shelter that survives today. The CCCs also branched out to assist with other public works, such as the St. Ignace City Hall.
Camp Kenneth CCC Camp

CCC Legacy.org gives a partial list of CCC camps in the Trout Lake region numbers at least 18, as described below, with camp number (F is Federal, S is State), company number, location, and date established:
At Raco (5/2/1933), at Strongs (5/6/1933), S-64 at Eckerman(6/12/1933, 6/24 1933) at Rudyard (6/12/1933), at Kenneth about a dozen miles southeast of Trout Lake (5/16/34), and 15 miles northwest of Moran (12/9/1933 and 6/24/1933).
At Newberry (6/21/1933), and north of Newberry (6/21/1933), at Rexton (6/21/1933), 2 miles southwest of Raco (6/15/1935), 2 miles northeast of Strongs (6/12/1935), at Kenneth (6/12/1935), at St. Ignace (7/2/1935), 15 miles west of Moran (6/12/1935), 12 miles north of St. Ignace at St. Martins (7/5/1935), 10 miles from St. Ignace at Round Lake (5/1/1938), at Rexton (6/15/1935), and 4 miles west of Trout Lake. Camp Marquette, the "Indian CCC Camp", was established for Native American enrollees about 8 miles north of Eckerman (4/25/1935).

Roosevelt's Tree ArmyMichigan's Civilian Conservation Corps by Roger L. Rosentreter states:
Michigan's 102,814 CCC participants—eighth highest among all states—occupied an average of fifty-seven camps annually. Only five states had a higher average. More impressively, Michigan enrollees planted 484 million trees-more than twice as many as any other state.

They spent 140,000 man-days fighting forest fires, planted 156 million fish and constructed 7,000 miles of truck trails, 504 bridges and 222 buildings. They revitalized the Michigan State Park system, established Isle Royale National Park and built campgrounds in Michigan's national forests. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-54463_18670_18793-53515--,00.html

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